by Jarrett Hoffman
During the Civil War, writer Mary Chesnut — the wife of a senator and Confederate officer — kept a diary where she recorded significant moments in the conflict, wrote about the state of Southern society, and revealed secret feminist and abolitionist views.
She worked to revise the diary as a book, but died nineteen years before its eventual publication under the name A Diary from Dixie. Writers and historians continued to study the text as they discovered more of her papers, and the work’s staying power was affirmed when a 1981 annotated version won the Pulitzer Prize for History.
That woman’s perspective on the Civil War will now make its way to the opera stage. On Friday, June 15 at 7:00 pm at Cleveland Public Theatre’s James Levin Theatre, ContempOpera/ Cleveland will present the premiere of Mary Chesnut by Steven Mark Kohn, composition faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Soprano Andrea Anelli will take the title role in this production directed by Marla Berg and featuring Lorenzo Salvagni at the piano. [Read more…]